Date of Award

January 1996

Degree Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Justice Studies

First Advisor

Victor E. Kappeler

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Second Advisor

Peter B. Kraska

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies


Does community policing signal the diminishment of coercive policing? Recent trends indicate the opposite. There may be an increase in the number and a significant change in the use of police paramilitary units. This case study uses quantitative data, field research and in-depth interviews to inquire into a Southern police department's past and current use of their Emergency Response Unit. Through the research, a more revealing look at the overall paramilitary policing culture, attitudes, legitimization, and tactics was gained and several important cultural themes were developed. Findings include that while this department publicizes themselves as community policing oriented, it has also significantly broadened the role of their paramilitary unit.